Do Not Give up on Your Dreams — Re-Define Your Dreams.
What I thought had been in vain — all my rigorous training prior to going into the hospital for 16 days with orbital cellulitis several months earlier (August 17 –September 1) — prepared me spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Prepared me to be able to meet the demands of the 6 1/2 hour long test to pass and qualify to be able to enter a 10-month long “black belt cycle”process. A process to qualify to be able to participate in a 2-day black belt test.
To read what was involved in the 6 1/2 hour long test to qualify to enter the 10-month long black belt cycle, please see below.
I share what I have in this 3 part series to encourage you to not give up on your dreams. Our journey together is not about comparison, but about identification. Our dreams may be different, but our determination to succeed in the face of disappointment and discouragement can be the same. Our hard work, determination, and tenacity is not in vain. What might appear to be a setback, may, in reality, prove to show you something about yourself that you would not otherwise comprehend. You may also find — as I did — that you have more in you than you thought you did. Be encouraged my friend!
When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. Leo Burnett
I hope my Sensei decides that I am ready to begin the black belt cycle in January to be able to test for my black belt in October 2009, but I know if he does not I have accomplished something I previously did not know was possible at 51 years of age.
Per your information I will include below what we had to accomplish the day of the progress check on November 8 from 9 am – 5 pm.
Black Belt Cycle Qualifying Progress Check — November 8, 2008, Saturday
The test began at Freedom Park at 9 am. This is how the test evolved. We had to first run three laps around the park — lake — 2 miles. The next phase of the test was to do 500 jumping jacks and then run 3 more laps around the park — 2 more miles — followed by another 500 jumping jacks all within 30 minutes. The next phase involved 4 different stations — to rotate through– 5 minutes at each station. One station was to do 100 push ups in five minutes, the next station was to do wind sprints — 75 feet — over and over again every 30 seconds for 5 minutes, the next station was to do 500 crunches in 5 minutes, the final station involved doing 10 froggy jumps followed by 5 push-ups over and over again for 5 minutes. The 1st phase of the project test lasted 1 hr and 40 minutes.
When we completed this part of the test we drove back to the martial arts school. When we got there we got dressed in our gi’s — martial arts gear — and then the 2nd phase of the progress check began. The 2nd phase lasted for 2 hours. During the 2nd phase, we did a tremendous amount of jump roping, demonstrating various types of punches, kicks combinations, Kata’s and grappling skills — chokes, armbars, and other skills. We then did focus mitt drills — with a teammate — jabs and crosses for 10 minutes each — with a teammate at various speeds and degrees of power in our punches. Following the jab and cross drills on the focus mitts, we switched to doing alternating hook punches on the focus pads — with a teammate — at various speeds and degrees of power in our punches. We then had to do 250 hard round kicks on a heavy bags. Once we were done with this gauntlet of physical activity Sensei dismissed us for our lunch break which lasted from 1-2:30. After speaking with a marathoner at a local running shoe company on Friday concerning what would be good to have for lunch the day of the test I brought a few protein bars — a MOJO bar and a Cliff Bar Friday afternoon at Wal-mart. I had these 2 bars along with 2 containers of Propel a vitamin drink.
At 2:30 we began the 3rd phase of the project test. The 3rd phase consisted of 80 minutes of grappling — 3-minute rounds — with about 15 or so different students and instructors. Right after grappling ended Sensei had us pad-up to begin the next activity — free sparring. Free sparring lasted for 60 minutes — 3– minute rounds — with about 15 different students and instructors. At the end of sparring Sensei gave us our last assignment — to be done with a 3 man team. The assignment consisted of 2 rounds. Each round consisted of each member doing 100 gut busters with the second team member pushing the legs of the first team member to the ground and counting to 100. The 3rd team member held a left leg side kick out above the ground until the person doing gut busters completed their 100 gut busters. Once each person had done their 1st 100 gut busters, we repeated the process with the 3rd member of the team holding their right leg side kick above the ground.The team rotated through once and then repeated the cycle as the one team member held their right leg side kick out until the 1st team member completed their second set of 100 gut busters. When our team completed the 2nd rotation of gut busters our test was over. We ended a little after 5 pm.
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